LIVE: Tauk @ the Palace Theatre, 2/6/16


Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

As a photographer, I was stuck in one spot because of the crowd that had crammed into the outer rim of the pit and up the aisles. I couldn’t move left or right, back or forth, but I was fine due to the advanced strategy I had employed before the show started: thinking ahead about where would I have the best vantage point to shoot a few frames with my camera.

TAUK took the stage and hit that magical moment in the latter part of their hour-and-a-half set. It was magnificent to witness where the jam took on a life of its own. The musicians’ eyes darted back and forth as they played, while looking between each other and the audience. They knew they were in the groove, and they transcended the moment by taking it higher and higher, amping up the band’s collective intensity. The notes flew out with the sparks of musical genius. At that point, I’m not sure, but the band didn’t know where or when to stop the song, but as a band jamming away, they knew that they were onto something big.

By this time the house had filled up after many an audience member had stayed in the lobby to socialize and others had a smoke or two before they came into Albany’s Palace Theatre. The whole audience was on their feet by that time and digging the music with a Grand Canyon-wide exuberance.

Guitarist Matt Jalbert quickly glanced at keyboardist Alric “AC” Carter and nodded his head that it was time to close the jam down, drummer Isaac Teel and bassist Charlie Dolan followed suit as the song wound down into an aural sea of applause. TAUK had concluded its finest moment of the night.

I wasted no time to find TAUK’s merch table to buy their newest release, Headroom, a compilation of live tracks recorded in 2015. The album is no disappointment. It’s grand, in fact, but nothing recorded there had captured the live experience I witnessed at the Palace. Mind you, I was on the job, so there was no alcohol or drugs in my system, it just the adrenaline caused by hearing a great band hit that magical “Zen” moment that transcends everything in the universe for that moment in time. I haven’t witnessed anything musical like it in shooting more than 150 musical events every year for the last decade.

Andrzej Pilarczyk’s photographs of the headliners, Umphrey’s McGee

NOTE: Tauk returns to Greater Nippertown on Friday, March 4, playing at the Pearl Street Clubroom in Northampton. Mammal Dap opens the show at 9pm, and tickets are $12.50 in advance; $15 at the door.





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